One by one, the 6 deacon candidates placed their hands on a Bible, promising to live out and share the powerful message of its ancient, holy words. “Be faithful to handing on the word of God, so that it may grow strong in the hearts of his people,” Bishop Michael Warfel instructed during the Rite of Installation into the Ministry of Lector, March 12th, at St Bernard Church in Billings. Installation to the Ministry of Lector is part of their journey to ordained ministry in the church. They are on track for ordination as Permanent Deacons in June of 2024.
According to the church’s law and practice, the instituted lector is charged with proclaiming the readings from the Sacred Scriptures (except for the Gospel), announcing the intentions in the Prayer of the Faithful (in the absence of a deacon), and reciting or singing the responsorial psalm if there is no cantor. As distinct from the typical parish reader, these men will now exercise this ministry in a permanent way.
Deacon Pete Woelkers, the Director of Formation said the deacon candidates have worked hard to get to this point. “They are very busy with ongoing intellectual study through the McGrath Institute at Notre Dame and spend countless hours at home studying and writing. Wives are required to attend seven formation weekends a year with their husbands and though they are welcome to take the online intellectual courses if they wish.” The deacon candidates will continue at this pace for the next 14 Months.
Deacon candidates admit that their journey can feel like a marathon at times, and it can be a challenge to fit the many requirements along with their ongoing daily life requirements of marriage, family, and work. Installation rites offer a much-needed boost as they continue on their path.
Please keep our six Deacon Candidates as well as all who are discerning and preparing for the vocation as a priest, deacon, religious, lay ministry and marriage.